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Ultimate Epiphone Sheraton upgrades?

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First of all, hello to all fellow Gibson and Epiphone fans. I've always been a Fender/G&L guy, until I fell in love with Epiphone Sheraton II. I had rough experiences with Dots and LP's, and never ever thought Epiphone could sound like this sweet Sherry. Very comfortable to play, great wood resonance.

 

That's why I want to push it to the edge and do a complete rehaul, while retaining the good spirit of this axe. What are essential upgrades would you advise? I've only had experience in Fender-area upgrades, so any help with parts' manufactures brands would be appreciated.

 

Let's see.

 

1) I want to put Gibson Classic '57 in it, I also want to try P-94. Has anyone tried P-94 in it? Saw video on youtube with this upgrade, sounded marvellous;

2) What pots should I use? Dimarzio? CTS? I want to have 250k's, my sound is not too dense;

3) What would be the best wires/capacitors?

4) I want to change all the hardware. I want to stay on stop-tail way, but I’ve heard that korean Epiphone Sheraton has metric measurements, and original Gibson tune-o-matic bridge and stop-tail won’t fit it. Is it true? If yes, what other bridge should I use? TonePros? Gotoh?

5) Same question about tuners. What tuners would fit, and what would be the best to use?

6) I’ll probably ask luthier to do all the work, but as far as I’m concerned Sheraton/ES-335 is a major pain to upgrade? How would one feed pots through f-holes? Isn’t it impossible?

7) Are there any other advises in Sheraton upgrading? What were your upgrades?

 

Thanks and have a great time, guys.

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"First of all, hello to all fellow Gibson and Epiphone fans. I've always been a Fender/G&L guy, until I fell in love with Epiphone Sheraton II. I had rough experiences with Dots and LP's, and never ever thought Epiphone could sound like this sweet Sherry. Very comfortable to play, great wood resonance."

 

 

And you want to change all that !!!!!!! [scared]

 

Welcome to the Forum. I just need a bit to soak it all in. I only mod when I know I can improve what I have. Never use a silk purse to make a sows ear.

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"First of all, hello to all fellow Gibson and Epiphone fans. I've always been a Fender/G&L guy, until I fell in love with Epiphone Sheraton II. I had rough experiences with Dots and LP's, and never ever thought Epiphone could sound like this sweet Sherry. Very comfortable to play, great wood resonance."

 

 

And you want to change all that !!!!!!! [scared]

 

Welcome to the Forum. I just need a bit to soak it all in. I only mod when I know I can improve what I have. Never use a silk purse to make a sows ear.

 

Ha, I got what you mean. That's a great premise. I love what this guitar already has - very good wood, very nice fretwork, comfortable concept. Unfortunately, I feel that stock pickups leave a bit to be desired (maybe too waxed or unbalanced), and I also want to try P-94. I also have a personal dislike for gold hardware (although a lot of my friends love the idea of it). So those two reasons are why I want to mod this guitar. And if I'm going to mod it - why not get the best I can. :) Cheers.

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my sound is not too dense

My wife says just the opposite about me!

Welcome to the forum and congrats on your Sheraton. How about some pics?

 

I'm just a little curious as to why you would put Gibson 57s in your guitar and then darken them up with 250k pots.

Putting the Gibson pups in will give you a clearer more defined sound. Why muddy them up?

Although 300k are sometimes used for volumes, by far, the norm is to use 500k (vol and tone) with humbuckers....Same for P-94s.

 

250k pots are primarily used on Fender type single coils to add some warmth to an otherwise extremely bright pickup.

 

Anyway, congrats again on the Sheraton.

 

Willy

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I put a set of BB Pro's in mine with CTS 500K pots and it sounds absolutely killer!! I'd recommend having the electronics changed out by a tech though. It was a bit of a pain.

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I have a 2004 I upgraded with classic 57/57+ and a BCS vintage 335 wiring harness last christmas.

In my case it was a very successful and entertaining experience.

Some people do struggle with the electronics if they have the smaller F holes version however.

It will not make a poor instrument sounds great; it will only open or emphases its caracteristics.

If you bound with it and don't expect to get back money invested then do it [thumbup]

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Although it can vary from year to year, Sheratons have an access hole through the bridge pickup rout so you can fish pots, jack and wire through there. The was an extensive discussion with pics on the known upgrade methodologies a few years back, I'll see if I cant dig it up.

 

servicehole.jpg

 

BTW, welcome to the forum and congrats on your new Sherry.

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I have a 2004 I upgraded with classic 57/57+ and a BCS vintage 335 wiring harness last christmas.

In my case it was a very successful and entertaining experience.

Some people do struggle with the electronics if they have the smaller F holes version however.

It will not make a poor instrument sounds great; it will only open or emphases its caracteristics.

If you bound with it and don't expect to get back money invested then do it

 

- If you want Gibson PU's, BB's are much beter than '57's. Even better are Duncan Seth's.

- I've swapped PU's and pots in dozens of F hole guitars, it's not hard or time-consuming. I've even put the 4 push-pull Jimmy Page system in 335's (like my Sheraton). I've posted instructions several times on the Duncan site. Check it out and do a thread search. Anyone who says it's difficult either has never done it or had no idea what they were doing when they tried it. Just takes common sense.

- The biggest improvement in your tone comes from upgrading the PU's, more than everything else combined. That's where to put your money. I don't replace any of the wiring harness until something's shorting out, which is uncommon.

- Keep the old stock PU's to put back in if you decide to sell the guitar later. Then you don't lose money.

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I completely replaced everything in a DOT once. Took me about 90 min. start to finish the first time around. Looks harder that it really is. I pre-wired the whole harness from parts to start with, makes it quicker to install and you can use a meter to check your work before insertion. You'll do well. Just take your time.

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- The biggest improvement in your tone comes from upgrading the PU's, more than everything else combined. That's where to put your money. I don't replace any of the wiring harness until something's shorting out, which is uncommon.

 

I disagree. I've found that high quality components can make "meh" quality pickups sound extraordinary. Replace the wiring first and if you still don't like it then do the pickups.

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I have also seen improvements in sound with just a wire change. I have a 335 type where the pickups' quick connect was a bit corroded and cleaning the contacts made a big difference.

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Welcome, to the forum!

 

Before you do anything, to your Sheraton, go out and play various semi-hollow body Gibson's,

with different pickups (stock), and see which ones YOU prefer. That way, at least, you'll

have a decent idea, what they sound like Prior to installation. Our opinions, are just that!

We can't possibly tell you, what YOU'LL like....only what WE like, and as you've already seen,

here...that varies! [biggrin] The P-94's come stock, in the Epiphone Riviera "Nick Valensi."

There have been some, here, that install them, or one of them, in the neck position, especially.

Other's, like Burst Buckers, or (like me) "Classic 57 (neck) and '57+, in the bridge position.

But, I would certainly try some guitars, with all of those pickups, (and other's, if you can

find them), prior to spending money, and time/hassle, to change what's there, until you know

exactly what you like the sound of. Granted, there's no guarantee, any pickup you listen to,

will sound exactly the same, in your Sheraton...but, you'll have a much better idea, to begin

with, what they do sound like, one from another, in another semi-hollow body. The same pickups

can sound completely different, in LP's or SG type guitars, than what they do, in Semi's.

 

Good Luck, on your quest! [thumbup]

 

CB

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I disagree. I've found that high quality components can make "meh" quality pickups sound extraordinary. Replace the wiring first and if you still don't like it then do the pickups.

 

I've probably got more Epi's than just about anybody here. If you're serious about tone, the stock PU's gotta go. I've done it to every one my of Epi's. There's no point in keeping them and screwing with other things that have a small impact. You will not, and cannot, get the level of clarity, depth, and definition that, for example, Seymour Duncan's have. Stock Epi PU's are serviceable at best; they transfer sound. A manufacturer of high quality PU's (and there are many besides Duncan) goes far beyond that. They strive for tone quality.

 

Example: I bought a used Epi Korina '58 V last year. Plugged it in to check the elctronics and couldn't believe how good it sounded. Very clear and articulate like no Epi I've ever heard. I've played dozens and dozens of Epi's over the years, and this blew them all away. No comparison. When I changed the strings, I was curious and flipped over the PU's...they were both DiMarzios. The seller forgot to mention that.

 

Now, if you use a lot of distortion and effects and play thru a solid state practice amp, then you won't hear a lot of difference when you upgrade PU's. But the better your amp, and the cleaner you play, the more obvious the difference. It's worth it.

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First of all, hello to all fellow Gibson and Epiphone fans. I've always been a Fender/G&L guy, until I fell in love with Epiphone Sheraton II. I had rough experiences with Dots and LP's, and never ever thought Epiphone could sound like this sweet Sherry. Very comfortable to play, great wood resonance.

 

That's why I want to push it to the edge and do a complete rehaul, while retaining the good spirit of this axe. What are essential upgrades would you advise? I've only had experience in Fender-area upgrades, so any help with parts' manufactures brands would be appreciated.

 

Let's see.

 

1) I want to put Gibson Classic '57 in it, I also want to try P-94. Has anyone tried P-94 in it? Saw video on youtube with this upgrade, sounded marvellous;

 

-------I have had several sets of pickups in my sheri.. right now retrotrons from gfs and I like 'em. but 57 classic, 57 classis plus would be really nice!

 

2) What pots should I use? Dimarzio? CTS? I want to have 250k's, my sound is not too dense;

 

------small f holes. cts minis but make sure your knobs will fit.. usa and metric pot shafts are different.. 500K and Mallory 150 tone caps.

 

3) What would be the best wires/capacitors?

 

----I use copper core silver plated teflon coated amp wire. *S* Mallory 150s, 0.022uF, very nice!

 

4) I want to change all the hardware. I want to stay on stop-tail way, but I’ve heard that korean Epiphone Sheraton has metric measurements, and original Gibson tune-o-matic bridge and stop-tail won’t fit it. Is it true? If yes, what other bridge should I use? TonePros? Gotoh?

 

----I fear this question. *L* I have fit another brand to my sheri.. another guy tried what I did, and his wouldn't work. (I think it was him, but I build guitars and amps, so..) You do have to be careful. Look at specs for your epi .. the koreans like mine are NOT the same and they don't make a replacement!

I've forgotten the part number!

 

5) Same question about tuners. What tuners would fit, and what would be the best to use?

 

-----I use gold grover Imperials.. high ratio.. the buttons look great on the headstock.. and they tuners work perfectly for years.

 

 

6) I’ll probably ask luthier to do all the work, but as far as I’m concerned Sheraton/ES-335 is a major pain to upgrade? How would one feed pots through f-holes? Isn’t it impossible?

 

----no you just pull a lot of your hair out.

 

7) Are there any other advises in Sheraton upgrading? What were your upgrades?

 

----pickups five times, electronics twice, bridge, tailpiece, knobs--I use gold dome knobs with set screw, tuners, nut--changed to tusq, and added dunlop straplocks.

 

 

Thanks and have a great time, guys.

 

I used p90s for a couple years. liked them very much, but got tired of single coil noise.

 

 

Here's blondy now

 

guitars031.jpg

 

past incarnations

 

blondywretros002.jpg

 

guitars003.jpg

 

A34.jpg

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I've probably got more Epi's than just about anybody here. If you're serious about tone, the stock PU's gotta go. I've done it to every one my of Epi's. There's no point in keeping them and screwing with other things that have a small impact. You will not, and cannot, get the level of clarity, depth, and definition that, for example, Seymour Duncan's have. Stock Epi PU's are serviceable at best; they transfer sound. A manufacturer of high quality PU's (and there are many besides Duncan) goes far beyond that. They strive for tone quality.

Now, if you use a lot of distortion and effects and play thru a solid state practice amp, then you won't hear a lot of difference when you upgrade PU's. But the better your amp, and the cleaner you play, the more obvious the difference. It's worth it.

 

Kind of condescending, but whatever. I'm just saying that some pickups become acceptable or even good with better components. And why would you even think about running your $300 Lollars, or what have you, through sh*tty Alpha mini pots?!? Doesn't make any sense to me. Quality components are easier and cheaper than pickups, new pickups are a next step. And this is coming from someone who has had 6 different sets of pickups in one of my instruments.

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My Sheraton has been a little neglected lately, but I have similar Fendery sound preferences to you. I swapped my Sheraton's mudbuckers for a couple of GFS Surf 90s, they have hugely improved the clarity of the sound and retained the thick woody tone I liked. But now I can use the tone controls instead of jamming them on full. Rewiring the pots is a pain in the rear and I would only recommend it if there are actual problems - otherwise you can clip the leads from the existing pickups and attach the new ones, although you lose some shielding that way because the GFS ones have braided shields and the stock ones don't (I think).

The Sheraton pickups went into an old junk Strat and I wired them with 1M pots - it massively improved their sound as well. But I highly recommend the Surf 90s, they sound great clean and they get very dirty indeed when you want. This is into a Twin Reverb with a Tube Screamer clone pedal.

Hope that helps. For a cheap experiment you could just replace the pots with a 1M setup but you'd have to swap them back if you went to a brighter pickup. Tuners - not worth replacing since stability problems are 99% nut problems, get a good nut done and see where you are then.

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I'm just saying that some pickups become acceptable or even good with better components. And why would you even think about running your $300 Lollars, or what have you, through sh*tty Alpha mini pots?!? Doesn't make any sense to me. Quality components are easier and cheaper than pickups, new pickups are a next step. And this is coming from someone who has had 6 different sets of pickups in one of my instruments.

 

Well, I don't want to settle for 'acceptable' PU's. I replace all mini-pots (most Epi's have full-size ones anymore). Hey, my approach is to look for used American-made PU's online, for about half price. I get more more improvement in tone doing that than replacing anything else. A stock Epi PU is never going to have the tone quality of a good Duncan or DiMarzio. Rather than get side-tracked, I focus on PU's.

 

If you've had 6 sets of PU's in one guitar, you need to learn about swapping magnets and pots/resisitors. You'll be able to get the tones you want with one, maybe two sets of PU's. It'll never take six. There's about 10 different alnicos available from Addiction FX, and each one has a different EQ. We don't know what a HB or P-90 has to offer until we try a couple of magnets in it. Sometimes using 250K pots or 470K resistors will do it. All of this stuff is much cheaper than PU's.

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Kind of condescending, but whatever.

 

Not really. Have you tried Seth's, Pearly Gates, '59's, or Bustbuckers? There is no stock Asian HB that comes comes anywhere close to that level of tone quality. They're not nearly as expensive if you buy them used. You're much better off buying a used Epi for half price, and using the rest of the money (that you would have spent on a new guitar) on upgrading PU's instead. Geez, I just got a nice used Epi Lp Std+ with hard case and a pair of Duncan '59's for $250. Good deals are out there.

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My 2006 Korean Sheraton II was preowned scored in a trade for my old 2006 Chinese Epiphone Les Paul Standard. The previous owner installed Planet Waves auto-trim locking tuners and I assume all hardware as I have not seen many Ebony Sheraton's with chrome hardware.

 

I love my Sheraton! It's fun to play and I find myself playing it more often than my other three guitars. The locking tuners are a first for me but I have grown to appreciate them. They're good, not as great as some would like you to believe, but well worth trying out if you're in the market for tuning keys to see if it's for you.

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This thread has been helpful to me, so I want to share what I've done. I have a 2016 Epi Sheraton II that I love, and I knew immediately it was a keeper for life. As such, I decided to make several upgrades:

 

- Replaced stock PUs give Seymour Duncan Seth Lovers (neck and bridge)

- Replaced all of the wiring and pots and caps with 500K CTS

- Dropped in new Switchcraft toggle switch and input jack (and all new wiring)

- Replaced stock nut with bone

 

I didn't entirely hate the stock PUs, but after the upgrades, this thing barks. These Seth Lovers are hot, bright, deep, and LOUD. I'm playing it through '65 Fender Princeton Reverb RI, and can get pretty much any sound I need (even in spite of my fairly amateur fingers!). This thing just growls now.

 

It's been carefully set up, too, but I've still had some tuning issues. I've ordered some Grover 18:1 locking tuners that (supposedly) will drop right in! I'll install them Friday, set it up again, and check it out. I don't want to deal with replacing the bridge/stop bar, and I don't think I'll have to.

 

Fit, finish, playability were all stellar upon delivery. The upgrades have taken this to another level. All told, with a original purchase price of US $600 + $500 in upgrades, I have a lifetime guitar that is a beautiful beast. If the new tuners work as expected, this guitar might be the best, most versatile, and most favorite guitar I own.

 

Happy to try to add a sound file/link of what it sounds like now -- wish I had the "before" sound on file. :)

 

Good luck, all, and happy playing. :)

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I know this is an old thtread but as tmj529 put it's been interesting to see people take on the best way to go about this. With that in mind may I present my 2002 Sheraton II

 

25942721927_d7c7b82ee0_k.jpg

 

As sson as I got her I knew that she was a keeper and so the fun began.

 

- Replaced stock nut with GraphTech aged nut

- Replaced stock PUs with Epiphone elitist TR-50 & SR-50

- Fitted Bigsby B-7

- Replaced standard bigsby arm with "Duane Eddy" tremelo arm

- Removed Tailpiece and covered holes with "Custom Made" Plaque

- Replaced complete wiring with 50's wiring upgrade

- Replaced Pots with 500K CTS ones

- Knobs replaced with gold reflectors

- Replaced caps with Spraque Hyrel .022 PIO caps

- Switchcraft toggle switch and input jack

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